The government has given private schools the go-ahead to raise admission fee with the condition that the government will monitor facilities and education quality.

At the 31st Meet the Press programme on June 23, education minister Norbu Wangchuk said, “The schools will be monitored strictly according to the regulations set by the government.” The schools will be required to provide education worth the fee and will be held responsible and accountable.

Lyonpo said that there are total of 12,143 students in 36 private schools in the country. Even with the availability of public schools that are monitored by the government, the parents choose to admit their children to private schools with the hope of better education quality, he added.

Concerning high admission fee at the private colleges, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said: “The private colleges will also be monitored.” He added that some private schools have already voiced their concerns on the social media sites.

Some are of the opinion that the government must not intervene on fee charged by the private schools; if a private school provides poor quality education, damage will be done to the school. To avoid such occurrences, the schools will try to improve the facilities and the quality of the education.

According to Sun Shine School proprietor Pem Tandi, “Monitoring private school is nothing new. The government comes and sees if the facilities and the quality of education at schools are as required annually.” She added that the private schools can put on proposal for fee raise every two years but with a strong justification.

The National Council in November last year recommended a policy to monitor the private schools fee. The members discussed the reasons for the rise in admission in the private schools. It was deliberated that the rise in private schools and admission was because there were not enough public schools. Accepting enrollment in the private primary schools below the age of six was another reason. The members also expressed concerns about teachers opting private schools over public schools.

Some of the members urged the government to construct more public schools and to improve the facilities for teachers in public schools.

Phurpa Lhamo